Manufacturer sued after man loses leg on tractor rotary cutter

Michelle Massey Mar. 21, 2011, 3:00am

After losing his leg, a Jefferson Parish resident has filed a lawsuit against the manufacturer of a tractor rotary cutter for not warning him of its inherent dangers.

Glenn Schaefer, individually and on behalf of two minor children, Julie Schaefer, individually and Seth Schaefer, individually filed suit against Kodiak Mfg. Inc. and Eugene Molinary on Aug. 30, 2010 in St. Bernard Parish District Court. The defendants removed the case to federal court in New Orleans on March 18.

According to the lawsuit, on Aug. 21, 2009, Glenn Schaefer's leg was cut off after he stepped onto a tractor's rotary cutter attachment and his pant leg was grabbed by the universal joint.

He states the rotary cutter did not have warnings regarding not to stand on it and there was no guard or housing on the universal box to prevent contact, and that there was no warning telling Schaefer to stay away from the universal joint. Schaefer also accuses the tractor driver, defendant Molinary, of not telling him the tractor was in gear.

Defendant Kodiak Mfg. is accused of negligence for defective design and manufacture of the rotary cutter, failing to follow industry standards and regulations regarding the design and manufacture, failing to warn of the design defect, lack of guard and inherent dangerousness, failing to sell a reasonably safe product, failing to recall the rotary cutter and negligence per se.

Defendant Eugene Molinary is accused of negligent operation of the tractor and rotary cutter, negligently having the rotary cutter in gear and failing to warn that it was in gear.

Glenn Schaefer is seeking damages for pain and suffering, mental anguish, medical expenses, loss of earning capacity, life care costs, permanent disability, disfigurement, loss of enjoyment of life, punitive damages, interest and court costs.

Julie and Seth Schaefer are seeking damages for mental anguish, medical expenses, loss of earning capacity, loss of consortium and loss of enjoyment of life.

The plaintiffs are represented by Gilbert V. Andry IV of The Andry Law Firm in New Orleans. A jury trial is requested.

U.S. District Judge Sarah S. Vance is assigned to the case.

Case No. 2:11-cv-00619

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